The first piece of sporting equipment Jeremy Lucio touched was a basketball, and he’s been passionate about the sport ever since.
Lucio has worked on his game year after year and now that he’s in Grade 12, he’s captaining the Vincent Massey Vikings varsity boys high school basketball team.
The 17-year-old has the attitude head coach Brett Nohr wants in his captain and Massy’s bench boss loves what Lucio does on and off the court.
"Jeremy’s just a real good, strong type of kid who never complains," Nohr said. "He comes to the gym and does his best and gives his best effort no matter what is asked of him."
Lucio has shown off his abilities at this year’s Brandon Sun Spartan Invitational. The agile 6-foot-0 forward averaged over 18 points and seven rebounds per game as the Vikings finished second in Pool H with a 2-1 record in the Tri-Star Screen Printing Division He also blocked a few shots in Vincent Massey’s 71-59 loss to the Dauphin Clippers on Friday afternoon.
Part of Lucio’s success has been from playing basketball any time he can, including Westman’s Filipino basketball league during the summer.
He also plays varsity football in the fall and badminton in the spring. He was a defensive end with Massey’s football team that won its first-ever playoff game in the Winnipeg High School Football League’s Kas Vidruk Division this season. Lucio finished the season with 16 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one safety touch. He was also the only boys singles badminton player from Massey to go to provincials last season and won the consolation championship.
While he’s proud of those accomplishments, Lucio admits he uses the other sports to develop his basketball abilities.
"Football is my off-season training for basketball," Lucio said. "It’s cardio and bulking up. Badminton is for my footwork and agility."
Nohr pointed out that Lucio’s footwork is fantastic and that he can’t recall the last time his captain was called for travelling, unless he was bumped and lost his balance.
For the last year, Lucio’s mother has encouraged him to find a university to attend next season. He’s picked the University of Manitoba as his school of choice, but he wants to be able to play basketball there as well.
Lucio hasn’t talked to Bisons head coach Kirby Schepp yet, and isn’t sure if he’ll be forced to go through the collegiate route first. Regardless of what level of basketball Lucio plays next season, Nohr believes he will be a valuable asset to the team.
"He’s one of those kids that if you have him on your team, then he’ll flourish at anything you ask him to do," he said. "That’s the type of team player he is."